Philanthropy has many synonyms: generosity, altruism, charity, social conscience. Literally, it translates as “love of humanity.” Here at St. Scholastica, we believe all of these words exemplify why our Benedictine Community of learners exists today; because of someone else who came before us and their love of humanity. During our Spring Philanthropy Week, we encouraged students to reflect on philanthropy, what it means to give back, and how to demonstrate their own love of humanity.
We sprinkled over 300 pieces of candy around campus for our students to discover. Chocolate gold coins were labeled with stickers that read It's Philanthropy Week. Celebrate Hospitality with a treat! and 100 Grand Bars were labeled Money doesn't grow on trees, but cocoa does!
We invited students, staff and faculty to decorate a keepsake rock with a word or phrase that speaks to the importance of giving (giving rocks!). We also began stamping Philanthropy Week passports, a suggestion from outgoing Student Senate Vice President Will Richardson. Each stamp earned its recipient one entry into a drawing for a $250 Target gift card.
We encouraged students to stop by our "photo booth" and share what they love about St. Scholastica on a white board. Messages ranged from "it's like a second home" to "the ski team" to the ever-popular "community." Photos were shared to our Facebook page and everyone who posed for a picture earned another passport stamp.
We asked students to take a moment out of their day to write a brief, but heartfelt thank you note to a donor. We emphasized that every single aspect of our Benedictine community - classrooms, dorms, facilities, programming, books, scholarships - is made possible by generous donors. Two hours of tabling later, we had 54 thank you notes for our department to distribute. Later that evening, we also toasted graduating seniors at our Countdown to Commencement event at Black Woods.
We gave away festive blue and yellow cupcakes in the Benedictine Commons to celebrate the end of a great week. There was also a mad dash to earn one final stamp on the Philanthropy Week passports. In total, we had 137 students turn in passports, and one dozen students who interacted with us all four days!